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Mask Buying Guide

Need to know how to choose a masquerade mask? What mask shape suits you? Which mask styles there are?  Read on to discover how to make the best choice…

Here is a guide on How to Choose a Masquerade Mask

What sort of Masked Ball are you attending? Black tie Masquerade or a Traditional Masked Ball? Traditional Venetian masks look great with period costume balls (think Cassanova or Phantom of the Opera) and include everything from the long nosed  theatrical masks worn by men, to beautiful elaborate feather masks, worn by women. For the more modern black tie masked ball, anything goes – from a simple Zorro style eye mask for men to the most elaborate, outrageous or glamorous masks you can find.

Handheld Mask or a Mask with ribbons? The stick mask is great for masked balls where you don’t intend to wear the mask all night (ie if you want to show off your make up or if you just don’t like the weight on your face). It’s also great for people who wear glasses. Downside? You will have to carry it around with you all night & juggle holding it with your drink/handbag!

The benefit of a mask with ribbons? Well you will have both your hands free, remain anonymous all evening and don’t have to worry about losing your mask.

What Mask Colour should I pick? Once you have chosen your dress/suit, choosing the mask colour should be fairly easy. You can even search by colour here. If you haven’t yet chosen your outfit then you can either work the dress around the mask you like, or go for a neutral colour like a Silver Mask, Black Mask or Gold Mask, which are much easier to match with accessories.

What size Mask should I choose?

Men: there are usually 3 types of masks i.e. full face, half face and eye mask.  Full face masks are great for totally disguising your identity – but not so great at events where you have to eat and drink! Half Face Masks – these might or might not cover the nose, but generally allow you to eat and drink easily and are a classic Venetian shape. Eye masks – usually suits most men and are generally easy and lightweight to wear. View all our Men’s Masks here.

Mens Masks

(from left) Full Face mask, Half Face Traditional Venetian, Eye Mask

Women: If you have a smaller or slimmer face, then try to go for a petite mask . (see the first image below which shows a teen wearing a petite metal filigree mask). This can be in the form of a traditional Venetian shape (hard based mask like the 3rd image below) or a softer flexible eye mask (centre image below) that we trim down from our normal range of masquerade eye masks. Most of our standard sized masks should fit the majority of women. Don’t forget, that if you see a mask you like but need a different size, we can customise it for you for free.

View all our Women’s Masks here

Women's mask sizes

(from left) Petite Mask, Standard Eye Mask with Stick, Larger Venetian mask

How do I know what size fits me?

The majority of people have a fairly good idea if they have a wider or smaller shaped face. If you are petite, then it’s likely you will have a petite face. However, it’s the shape of the face that matters when choosing a mask. All masks are worn over the eye area, so you need to look at the overall width of this area.

  1. If you are slim around the eyes and slim in the cheeks, then go for a petite mask
  2. If you are slim around the eyes but have wide/rounded cheeks, then go for a standard mask
  3. If you have a standard face (not particularly small or large) then go for a standard mask
  4. If you are wide on the eye area or in the face, then go for a wider shape or flexible mask (paper mache, lace or the masquerade eye masks which aren’t as rigid as a resin Venetian base)

What are the masks we stock made of?

Paper Mache – This is a lighterweight type of mask, made using either traditional paper mache techniques or machine pressed paper. Most of our Venetian Half masks are made with paper mache. They are generally more flexible than the harder resin masks so are ideal if you have a wider face. Because of the way the paper mache is made, it does have some creasing on the base.

Resin – Even Venetian makers are using a resin/plastic in their genuine Venetian masks, as it provides a good solid durable base. The resin is usually thick and then coated in the same plaster as the paper mache masks, enabling painting.

Flexible Eye masks – our masquerade eye masks that we can cut down to petite shapes are all made in Italy from a thin plastic layer which is then cotton lined on the inside and coated on the outside with a fabric layer. This mask is flexible and lighter than Venetian masks and is suitable for an array of face shapes. We can trim these down for petite faces or leave them full size for larger faces.

Leather – Used in many traditional Theatrical masks, the ‘modern’ leather mask is becoming a very popular choice. It is softer against the face, more flexible (so it’s suitable for all face shapes) and as the leather warms, it will mold to your face shape. All the leather masks we make use veg tan leather. Check out our huge range of Leather Masks which includes Superhero masks, devils, phantom of the opera masks, bat masks as well as many other stylish and fashion ranges.